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HindustanTimes Thu,27 Nov 2014

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Prez poll leaves parties, alliances divided
PTI
New Delhi, June 21, 2012
First Published: 21:39 IST(21/6/2012)
Last Updated: 21:42 IST(21/6/2012)

Despite Pranab Mukherjee set to get a runaway victory, the 2012 presidential election appears to have divided parties and alliances across the political spectrum.

As the race for Raisina Hill hots up, the divide is crystal clear all over - be it in UPA, which fielded Mukherjee or in the Opposition NDA and Left.

BJP's decision for a contest against Mukherjee and back PA Sangma did not find favour with its key allies JD-U and Shiv Sena, while the ruling alliance saw its key ally Trinamool Congress almost threatening a walk-out days after Mukherjee's candidature was announced.

Even in Left, while CPI-M and Forward Bloc have decided to support Mukherjee, the other two parties - CPI and RSP - have decided to abstain from voting.

Sangma, a senior NCP leader who was earlier in Congress, chose to defy his party's appeal to withdraw from the race and resigned from the organisation instead.

As Sangma refused to listen to NCP boss Sharad Pawar, who was canvassing support for Mukherjee, the party was contemplating his dismissal.

Even before BJP could firm up position on either contest or consensus on the Presidential election, there were different voices with MPs like Maneka Gandhi pitching for Mukherjee and hailing him as an "excellent candidate".

Gandhi said on Monday that the election of the President should be by a consensus three days before her party decided for a contest and backed Sangma after APJ Abdul Kalam withdrew from the race.

The most dramatic turn of the events so far was Trinamool supremo Mamata Banerjee rejecting the Congress proposal for the names of Pranab Mukherjee and Hamid Ansari and coming out with three new names including Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

Samajwadi Party, which backed her initially, ended up vouching support for Mukherjee.


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